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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Informational meetings to give an overview on expansion of nursing program

The New Mexico State University Nursing Department will hold three meetings to discuss the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree-Completion Program for registered nurses at 7 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, in the board room of Deming's Mimbres Memorial Hospital, 900 West Ash St.

Mexico State Nursing Department received a three-year $1.24 million grant last year from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand the degree-completion program to satellite locations.

The main-campus program was designed to allow registered nurses with associate degrees to receive credit for past academic and nursing course work in pursuit of a bachelor's degree.

"Deming provides another group of rural RNs in Southern New Mexico the opportunity to advance their nursing education which will benefit themselves, their patients and their entire community," said nursing professor Mary Sizemore.

The expanded program uses a compressed course scheduling combined with interactive video and WebCT enhanced instruction to deliver the classes to branch locations from the main campus. A full-time student can complete the program in 18 months.

"The need for the expansion initiative is based on New Mexico's status as a largely medically underserved area, the worsening shortage of nurses, the lack of educational mobility for the large number of associate degree nurses and the need for increased numbers of baccalaureate nurses to address the complex health needs of New Mexico residents and the border population," said Mary Hoke, head of the nursing department.

Hoke said the program objectives under the grant are to admit, retain and graduate a minimum of 112 registered nurse students through completion of the program, to admit, retain and graduate 56 minority students and to have at least 25 percent of the graduates work in "medically underserved" communities after graduation.

The program is the first at New Mexico State to be funded by the HRSA. HRSA, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has four bureaus that direct programs aimed at improving and expanding access to comprehensive, quality health care. The university's grant was awarded by the bureau working to provide primary health care to "medically underserved" people.

For more information about the meetings or the program, contact Sizemore at (505) 646-3812.